Catherine Ashton for the EU on the Conviction of Yulia Tymoshenko
Declaration by the High Representative Catherine Ashton on behalf of the European Union on the verdict in the case of Ms Yulia Tymoshenko
Brussels, 11 October 2011
The EU is deeply disappointed with the verdict of the Pechersk District Court in Ukraine in the case of Ms Yulia Tymoshenko. The verdict comes after a trial which did not respect the international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process which I repeatedly called for in my previous statements. This unfortunately confirms that justice is being applied selectively in politically motivated prosecutions of the leaders of the opposition and members of the former government. It is especially disappointing for a country that currently holds the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
The EU urges the competent Ukrainian authorities to ensure a fair, transparent and impartial process in any appeal in the case of Ms Tymoshenko and in the other trials related to members of the former Government. The right of appeal should not be compromised by imposing limitations on the defendants’ ability to stand in future elections in Ukraine, including the parliamentary elections scheduled for next year.
The EU will reflect on its policies towards Ukraine. The way the Ukrainian authorities will generally respect universal values and rule of law, and specifically how they will handle these cases, risks having profound implications for the EU-Ukraine bilateral relationship, including for the conclusion of the Association Agreement, our political dialogue and our
co-operation more broadly.